Lessons from Lockdown: Lulu
As part of our debut launch - Lessons from Lockdown - we’re on a mission to connect with individuals to uncover some of the greatest lessons pandemic life taught them.
This week activist, law graduate, small business owner and the most uplifting woman we know on Insta, Lulu aka @curlyylulu shares her lockdown low-down.
Who is Lulu?
I’m Luena, Lu for short, 26 years of age, living in London and a Law graduate as of two months ago! That last part is still a bit surreal so if you were to ask me I would still say I am a full-time student with one too many hobbies.
My career ambitions lie in Human Rights and policy but I also have a very creative side I try to nurture and that has ultimately led me to open both a stationery online business as well as a ceramics business (coming soon).
What did lockdown 1, 2, 3 and 4 look like for you?
The first lockdown caught me at the tail end of mid-terms, I had had one too many essays and my body needed a break. Additionally, having family members working within the health sector outside of the UK meant that, to a certain degree, I was prepared for what was to come.
Lockdown 2 brought with it the long grey days which made being sat at home a little harder, between that and entering my final year of law school, I would say this was the hardest period for me. The days started to blend together, I lost my routines and it seemed like much of the rest of the world had too. So, there was nothing to hold on to, everything felt uncertain and inconsistent and my mental, as well as physical wellbeing, definitely took a dive. Lockdown 2 was very hard.
Lockdown 3 came and went in a flurry of exams, essays, university stress and too much caffeine, by this point I was just doing whatever I could to get through it. I had not seen my family in a full year, I was certainly more anxious and I had a few more breakdowns than I would care to admit.
At some point during lockdown 3 I started getting some new visitors in my garden, these two little squirrels which I promptly named Sandy and Priscilla, with no regard for gender, started coming into my backyard to hide their nuts. I would feed them dried fruits during my study breaks and slowly but surely, I started looking forward to their daily interactions.
It may have taken me a while but during lockdown 3 I realised how much I missed nature, perhaps even more than the social interactions. I could do without the high street and the crowds, I could do without the packed trains but I missed the sun, I missed the sea and I missed the mindful existence that being around nature provides you with.
What lessons have you learned?
Lockdown taught me about strength and patience. As the months dragged on, things certainly became more challenging and I had to seriously confront whatever thoughts were making this period so difficult at times. Being in lockdown made it all so much more confronting but simultaneously it allowed me the time to think about these questions in a way I had never had time to before.
In a way, I am grateful for the lessons lockdown taught me because it strengthened my resolve in what path I wanted to take in life but it also allowed me to be more patient with myself and learn how to take one step at a time.
How did the ocean help you during lockdown?
The start of 2020 I found myself in Brighton by the sea, this irrational dread of the upcoming year had led to long conversations by the water and some social media oversharing. Call it intuition but something told me that 2020 was going to be a hard year for me. Looking back I can’t say that my first thought would have been a global pandemic but alas it happened and boy was it challenging.
I had this video of the sea from January and from time to time I would play it and listen to the sound of the water crashing against the shore and it gave me something to look forward to, I would tell myself “When the lockdown is over the first thing I’ll do is go back to Brighton to the sea” The lockdown ended and that was the first thing I did, I drove to the sea and stuck my feet in the water that was way too cold and I kind of regretted it a little bit but not enough to come out.
What surprised you the most?
Not to get too political, but I was surprised by the overall disconnect I saw from both members of the public and the government regarding this global pandemic.
The refusal to wear masks by some, while others lay in critical care. The clapping for the NHS on Tuesdays mixed with the acceptance that nurses are living on meager wages. I was surprised by the societal dichotomy displayed throughout lockdown and the reminder that any day, things could get worse.
Even now, as I see festivals re-starting and crowds flocking towards these events after “freedom day”, I find myself strangely surprised by this level of disconnect.
What were the highs?
I got new critter friends, need I say more? Along with Priscilla and Sandy I now have a whole host of little birds and neighbours cats that regularly frequent my garden,even the dog next door will pester me for cuddles if he catches me watering my plants.
Aside from that, lockdown has pushed me to think and evaluate all the things I considered to be detrimental for my happiness and wellbeing, it gave me the time to learn a true appreciation for what I had and it gave me time to break down and breakthrough.
What were the lows?
I am alive and healthy and despite how difficult this period was I count myself lucky to be able to go through it all knowing that my family and friends are with me every step of the way. With all of the bereavement around us it is hard to look at this period of time and not put the “lows” into perspective. My lows were lessons, hard ones but at the end of the day are they really “lows” if they taught me something?
Thank you Lu for sharing your lockdown journey!
You can find out more about Lu at @curlyylulu
Or follow her stationary adventures at @curlyscraftbox